Toddler Cooking Adventures!

quick and easy microwave popcorn

It’s all been feeling a bit like Noah’s ark at the moment. Crazy rain and wind throughout our state for days on end. Weather like this makes me want to crawl under a blanket, eat lots of food, drink hot chocolate and binge on TV series on DVDs. Alas being the mother of a toddler, this scenario pans out a little differently…. “mummy! mummy! mummy! I want to watch a mooooooovie!! mummy! moooooovie!” normally this has started at about 8:30 in the morning. Depending on my level of sleep, patience and general awesomeness I can sometimes hold out until about 3pm. Then it is not just a movie, but popcorn and movie time! For Possum AND mummy 🙂

Possum has been really enjoying getting into the kitchen lately and pretending to cook constantly. Making microwave popcorn from scratch has been a really fun, simple and easy way to include her in the kitchen as well as make a super tasty and reasonably healthy snack for the two of us to share.

Here is how to make it! What movie will you be watching? Our favourites are Madagascar Two (Possum calls it Lion Movie), Ratatouille (Rat Movie) and Rio 2 (Rio Movie).

Easy Microwave Popcorn – serves 4

1/3 cup popping corn

a decent chunk of butter

a shake of salt

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl (I use my Pyrex mixing bowl) for around 30 seconds in the microwave, making sure you have a cover over the bowl. Take bowl out of the microwave, add your salt and popping corn (this is Possum’s job). Stir to combine (also Possum’s job).

Possum's cooking adventures

Possum’s cooking adventures

Stir stir stir

Stir stir stir

Place bowl and cover in the microwave for 3 minutes 20 seconds for a 1000W microwave.

Don't forget the cover!!!

Don’t forget the cover!!!

Stay close by to listen for when the pops slow down. Take your delicious hot bowl of buttery popcorn out of the microwave using oven mitts. Divide among movie watchers or share from one big (but still hot so be careful!) bowl. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

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Fishy Friday #1

My lordy I am so over our weather at the moment. All I want is one whole day of sunshine. The reason? To dry our nappies! We have had rain for what feels like a hundred days in a row. I am over having 4 clothes drying racks up inside all day every day. I am over not being able to tell if Possum’s nappies are 100% dry. I miss the smells and crisp feeling of bringing towels inside after they have had a day of good Australian sun. I don’t like having to use a dryer so much. I was so hopeful this morning when we woke up to blue skies outside and beams of sunshine. After we gobbled breakfast the racks went outside. But after looking at the forecast for the day, back inside they came about an hour later when we had to leave the house. Bah! By the time we got home this afternoon it was raining, thundering and with mist so thick I had to slow down on the highway. Thankfully in the window of sunshine offered to us today, Possum and I headed to a Mums and Bubs exercise class held at a local park. I am going to be in a world of pain tomorrow!

But back to the food. We were planning fish and ratatouille tonight. But my day just didn’t have room for making something as time consuming as the recipe I had planned. So roast veg and leafy greens it was. I keep a bag of leafy greens in the fridge each week and try to add a handful to meals where there might be a bit of colour or veg lacking. Easy and I have found one which I like the taste of, not too many bitter greens.

The fish was flathead fillets cooked the way my mum does them. Simply shake the fish with some seasoned flour (I used spelt tonight, just because it was at the front of the cupboard). For seasoning I used turmeric, cumin salt and pepper (Possum’s version didn’t have salt). Fry the fillets in some oil (I used ghee) for a couple of minutes each side.

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I pulled some roast friendly veg out of the fridge and chucked them in the oven before Possum’s bath/bed routine so they were nicely done by the time we were ready to eat. I learnt the bottom of my oven is much hotter than the top (where the grill section is). Meant the carrots and pumpkin could cook at the same time without burning the carrots to a crisp.

Spiced Fish with Simple Roast Veg and Brown Rice/Barley

Affordability : MODERATE. Fresh fish will always be a little more pricey, but I think it’s worth it. It was still under $10 for enough for the 3 of us.
Time Factor : MODERATE. This was a dinner I could do in parts. Part 1 roast the veg. Part 2 put on the rice/barley. Part 3 cook the fish. Meals like this I find easiest to manage with a little one.
Complexity : LOW. Plenty of room for personal flair. To keep it even more simple you could just cook the fish as is, no seasoning. My roast veg were literally veg and oil. And I didn’t dress the greens.
Deliciousness : MODERATE. I found it tasty but learnt that Lego Man isn’t a fan of fish in general. The things you learn of the one you married!
Mess : MODERATE. Fry pan, saucepan and a couple of roasting trays. Instead of using a plastic bag to shake the fish (as my mum does) I used a large bowl and some tongs (didn’t feel like getting stinky fish hands two nights in a row).
Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Pleasantly full and not feeling heavy.
Possum Friendly? YES. Possum really enjoyed the fish tonight. I roasted her some zucchini too which she tried. Will offer her some of the roast veg tomorrow.

Would I make it again? Probably at some point. Might try and find some simple and fast other ways of doing fish. Suggestions?

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